Jan 27

VMware PEX 2015 – Sessions and Social

VMware Partner Exchange (PEX) 2015 in San Francisco is happening in less than a week. Pre-Conference Boot Camps from January 31 to February 2, and the conference itself February 3-5. I will be flying into SFO mid-day on Saturday, suppose to land around 12:40 PM.


Looking forward to stopping in to the VCDX boot camp on Sunday morning. Then on Monday workshops on VSAN in the morning and NSX in the afternoon. My PEX session schedule is focused on VSAN and NSX:

NET4288 – Operational Best Practices for VMware NSX
NET4253 – The Practical Path to NSX and Network Virtualization
STO4465 – Performance and Best Practices for Business Critical Applications Leveraging Virtual SAN

With a little EUC thrown in for good measure:

EUC4322 – High Performance Desktops with 3D

There are also a few social events I am looking forward to.

First vBacon, I missed this one at VMworld and from what I hear it was a really good time. The vBacon festivities are happening Tuesday, February 3 from 10 PM to 12 AM at the Cable Car City Pub. RSVP here: http://tweetvite.com/event/vBaconPEX2015

Then the vExpert/VCDX Tweetup. Always great to meet up with fellow vExperts and VCDXs. The
vExpert Tweetup Tuesday February 3, 7 PM at the Chieftain. RSVP here: http://vite.io/VMwareTweetups

The PernixData Pex Party is also February 3 from 7 to 10 PM at the Hawthorne Lounge and I plan to stop in there for a bit.

And then there is PEXunderground from @vmunderground… Like where they are going with this…


If you are going to be at PEX 2015 and would like to meet up hit me up @herseyc. Maybe breakfast at Mel’s Drive-In, a cup of coffee at Blue Bottle, or a cigar at the Cigar Bar and Grill.

Looking forward to a week of learning and catching up. Hope to see you there.

Jan 20

vCoffee Links #12 – PEX, PowerCLI, EVALExperience, and more…

VMware PEX 2015 is just around the corner (less than 2 weeks away). Looks like it is going to be a great show. Travel reservations are all made and my schedule is pretty much full. Looking forward to some VMware NSX and VMware Horizon goodness.

I am flying into SFO midday on Saturday, January 31. If you are going to be at PEX 2015 and would like to meet up for real life coffee hit me up @herseyc.

Still hoping to sit the VCP-DT exam at PEX but I have not had really had the time to do much studying. Have a View environment set up in the lab and I hope I can work in some serious study time between now and then.

A quick shout out to the folks preparing to defend for VCDX at PEX – Good Luck! Couple of quick tips… Know your design, have confidence in your design decisions, relax, and have fun!

Now on to the links…

vCoffee Links is a regular feature on vHersey.com. vCoffee Links features news and links of interest from the past week or so. If you have something interesting to add please submit it in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @herseyc.
Read the rest of this entry »

Jan 13

EMC VSI 6.4 Web Client Plugin and the VNXe3200

EMC has released version 6.4 of the Virtual Storage Integrator (VSI) plugin for the vSphere Web Client. This release fixed an issue with registering a VNXe3200 as a storage system.

What is the VSI? Here is the description from the EMC download site: Virtual Storage Integrator (VSI) 6.4 is an EMC plug-in for the vSphere Web Client. VSI 6.4 allows the VMware administrator to provision, monitor, manage, and protect datastores on EMC storage directly from vCenter, simplifying management of the virtualized environment. VSI 6.4 supports AppSync, ViPR, VMAX, VNX, VNXe3200, and XtremIO.

The VSI is a packaged in a virtual appliance and the OVA can be downloaded from here: https://support.emc.com/products/34010_VSI-for-VMware-vSphere-Web-Client (VSI is free but an EMC account is required to download).

This post provides an overview of deploying and configuring the VSI appliance and provisioning a VMFS datastore using the plugin.
Read the rest of this entry »

Jan 10

vSphere Software iSCSI Basics

Shared storage provides the foundation of a vSphere deployment and is required when leveraging many of the advanced features available in vSphere including vSphere High Availability (HA) and the vSphere Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS). Using the software iSCSI initiator in ESXi is one of the supported options available to provide shared storage connectivity to a vSphere environment. If iSCSI connectivity is not configured correctly there can be a significant impact on both performance and availability.

When doing discovery and assessments on customer environments I frequently run across issues with the configuration of the iSCSI connectivity to ESXi hosts. Common iSCSI configuration issues I encounter are:

  • Improper configuration of the VMkernel interfaces used for iSCSI traffic, such as, using multiple active vmnics or having standby vmnics configured for the VMkernel.
  • VMkernel interfaces are not bound to the Software iSCSI adapter. This is either due to the interface not being in compliance due to the issue above or the fact this part of the configurations was never completed.
  • Single points of failure in the iSCSI network with the most common single point of failure being storage paths are not separated across physical switches.

In this post I am going to take a look at two common network configurations used when deploying iSCSI connectivity in a vSphere environment along with how to correctly configure vSphere networking and the software iSCSI adapter when using iSCSI storage.
Read the rest of this entry »

Jan 04

eBooks Just $5 at PacktPub

Packt Publishing has been running a sale on all their eBooks for just $5! The sale ends on Tuesday, January 6, 2015 which means there is still plenty of time to take advantage of this great deal. You see sales like this from time to time but most of the time the sale only applies to earlier editions or to books which are slightly outdated. Not so with this sale – EVERY eBOOK published by PackT is available for just $5.

I just picked up a handful of eBooks myself:

The book I published with PackT in 2014, VMware vSphere 5.x Datacenter Design Cookbook, is also available for just $5! Thanks to @VirtuallyMikeB for his awesome review of my book which you can find here ( which my wife had printed out and framed :) ).

Great deal on some awesome tech books, don’t miss out.

Jan 03

vCoffee Links #11 – Welcome 2015!!!

Happy New Year!!!

2014 was a pretty fantastic year filled with several personal accomplishments. Most notably obtaining my VCDX-DV at PEX 2014, authoring the VMware vSphere 5.x Datacenter Design Cookbook published in February 2014, and being selected as the ABS Technology Architects Employee of the Year for 2014. It has been a busy year – I have learned a tremendous amount and I have had some great opportunities to work on some interesting projects with some awesome people. I look forward to what 2015 has in store.

I have neglected to post much on vHersey.com the last couple months. Mostly due to how busy I have been with work. When I have not been working I have been trying to devote more time to just relaxing and spending time with my family. Not trying to make excuses, it is what it is and I hope to do better in 2015.

Over the last couple weeks I have been trying to outline some professional goals and hopes for the coming year and here are a few of them:

  • Obtaining the VCP-DT. Hope to sit the VCP-DT exam at PEX 2015. Have not decided whether I am going to plan to sit the VCP6-DT or VCP5-DT. Looking for study resources for the VCP6-DT, if you know of any please leave me a comment. I have not decided yet how far I might take this…
  • Increase my participation in the virtualization community. I hope to get to join more of the vBrownBags and possibly get into presenting again, I really enjoy them and they have been an excellent resource specifically for exam preparation.
  • As part of participating in the community I also hope to continue to help grow the Hampton Roads VMUG. We met several times in 2014 and had some great participation from the local IT community, I hope it will continue to grow in 2015.
  • Obtaining the CCNA Datacenter and possibly the CCNP Datacenter are both on my list for 2015. If anyone has any good study resources for this please feel free to add them to the comments.
  • Continue to work on processes to help grow the data center practice at ABS. We did some really awesome stuff in 2014 and I am looking forward to where things will go in 2015.
  • Get my head around NSX. Not sure if I am going to work towards any of the certifications for NSX but I want to get it running in the lab and at least start down the path to learning it… I feel I am a bit behind the curve – better late than never…

Now on to the links…

vCoffee Links is a regular feature on vHersey.com. vCoffee Links features news and links of interest from the past week or so. If you have something interesting to add please submit it in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @herseyc.
Read the rest of this entry »

Dec 10

Automating with vRealize Orchestrator

I was recently convinced by Hersey to present at our Hampton Roads VMUG on automation and orchestration.  As this is still a relatively misinterpreted topic, I took the opportunity to differentiate between automating tasks, and combining those tasks to orchestrate complex workflows, along with some examples. What I gathered from the session is that there is a general lack of experience with today’s automation and orchestration platforms, but tons of genuine interest. I’ve felt late to the game the more I learn, but perhaps I’m right on time. Not enough people are headed down this path yet, so If I can help someone get started, that’s fantastic.

Automation and orchestration are not new, but if it’s new to you, rest assured there will never be a bad time to dive in. The toolsets for datacenter and cloud continue to grow in popularity and maturity, bringing features that make the process easier than ever before. These advancements are heavily driven by the software-defined era, where server/storage/network/security solutions are as much software now as the applications running on them. Include the fact that IT shops are having to ultra standardize in order to survive, and you get vendors that buy-in and start developing on these toolsets to ease management and enable automation of their products.

This has opened the door for admins and engineers to begin ‘programming’ their work to increase the speed of deployments. Speed up infrastructure deployments, speed up application releases, everybody’s happy on the path to devops. I realized this through the monotonous yet complex work of building/retiring servers and storage. I wanted to eventually make this process self-service for IT. Our environment was primed and the tools were already owned, just needed to begin building the automation. I went for the workflow platform native to our virtualized infrastructure, and extensible enough to the rest, vRealize Orchestrator (formerly vCenter Orchestrator).


Enough with theory though, let’s move on to a brief overview of Orchestrator, along with some examples of how my developer-in-crime and I have put it to work for us. Hopefully this will spark some ideas out there. Read the rest of this entry »

Nov 11

VNXe3200 and Unisphere Central

Unisphere Central is an EMC product which enables centralized management of multiple VNXe, VNX, CLARiiON CX4 and XtremSW Cache Cards through a single console. The Unisphere Central allows administrators to get alerts, capacity and performance metrics, group systems, and launch Unisphere on remote VNXe or VNX systems and XtremSW Management Center GUI for the XtremSW Cache Cards from a central management interface.

This can be pretty handy if you are managing multiple EMC arrays.

EMC Unisphere Central is deployed from an OVA which can be downloaded from EMC’s support site (an EMC Account login is required). During the OVA deployment you are asked to provided the management IP address, subnet mask, and default gateway.

Read the rest of this entry »

Nov 05

vExpert 2015 Applications Open Now

Application submission for the vExpert 2015 program is now open! vExpert Applications will be open until midnight PST December 12, 2014.


If you have participated in and contributed to the VMware community (blogging, tweeting, presenting, etc) over the past year be sure to submit your application.

The full vExpert 2015 announcement can be found on the VMTN blog at http://blogs.vmware.com/vmtn/2014/11/vexpert-2015-applications-open.html

Go submit your application. GOOD LUCK!

Oct 20

Hampton Roads VMUG Meeting October 22

The next HR VMUG meeting will be held on October 22 from 6 PM to 8 PM at GameWorks in Chesapeake.

The address is 1401 Greenbrier Parkway, Chesapeake, VA 23320. GameWorks was previously known as Jillian’s and is in the same location in the Greenbrier Mall.

The agenda for the meeting is:

6:00 to 6:30 – Meet and Greet, VMUG News
6:30 to 7:00 – Hersey Cartwright will discuss news from VMworld
7:00 to 7:30 – Timothy Gawne will discuss VMware Orchestrator
7:30 to 8:00 – Closing Statements, Networking

Room and refreshments sponsored by ABS Technology Architects.

If you have any questions or comments, please post them to the Hampton Roads VMUG workspace.

Hope to see you there!

Older posts «